Native American & Maori Reading Group Syllabus

Independent Studies:

Native American & Maori Reading Group
181:101:EXW Spr11 Independent Studies

Spring 2011


Eddie Chuculate    (Iowa)                                                                                                                                


Hinemoana Baker (New Zealand)



Course Description


This course will link a group of readers, in Iowa and New Zealand, who are interested in exploring works by contemporary Native American and Maori writers and poets. Co-instructors Eddie Chuculate (Iowa) and Hinemoana Baker (New Zealand) will offer guidance and discussion points for the reading group.  From January 28 to May 8, participants in the class will read four books—two written by Native American writers and two written by Maori writers.  Students will contribute to a series of on-line discussions that will take place via the ICON website and be responsible for writing one or two creative writing pieces of their own.  Two or three video conferences will take place over the duration of the course via Skype or other web-based technology.  At the end of the semester, the products of the creative writing activities will be collected into an electronic anthology or e-book.   All course activities will be conducted in English.  


This course does not meet in a regular classroom setting; rather, participants will communicate via email, ICON, and video conference calls.  Grading for undergraduates is on a letter-grade basis.


Please note: It is your responsibility to read and follow this syllabus, which outlines all of the requirements for this course.  You must also provide a valid email address and familiarize yourself with ICON.  Email and ICON are the primary ways that you will learn about assignments and course deadlines.  Students in this class are responsible for reviewing the material transmitted to them electronically.  Likewise, students will be responsible for uploading all of their written assignments via ICON for grading/evaluation.   


Required Texts & Deadlines


We’ll be reading one novel or short story collection each month.  At the end of the month, there will be various (at least five) discussion topics for participants to engage with. Participants are encouraged to respond to each other’s commentary and opinion.  These are our online “group meetings”.  In addition we will have two face-to-face video conferences during the semester.  These will be live reading group discussions.


February Book:  Cheyenne Madonna—Eddie Chuculate


March Book:  Small Holes in the Silence—Patricia Grace


April Book: Winter in the Blood—James Welch


May Text:  Maori Poetry Anthology

(collected by Hinemoana Baker and included on ICON as a supplemental course packet).

Course Requirements


This course is an independent study opportunity, and so it will be conducted on a flexible schedule.  Participants will be asked to read and discuss the writing material posted online, to contribute to discussion threads on ICON (, and to produce a small portfolio of original pieces of creative writing that engage the themes and questions raised in the reading. 


As co-Instructors, Eddie and Hinemoana will confer together via e-mail to formulate discussion topics and writing activities to enrich and enhance the ongoing conversation.  We have not orchestrated the writing activities in advance, because we would like these activities to arise organically from our discussions of the reading.  You are encouraged to communicate your needs and interests, as this course is designed to provide opportunities for individualized guidance and mentorship. 


Posting to the ICON discussion board


Instructors will post a topic or writing prompt to this discussion board. Students are expected to read these topics and comment on how their work may be influenced by this posted information. Topics may include online resources, such as YouTube videos or poetry websites, as well as material uploaded to ICON.


At the final deadline, May 14, 2010, all discussions must be completed on ICON Your participation in the online discussion forums will be assessed as each discussion takes place.


Grading and Feedback


Grading for undergraduates is given on a letter-grade basis.  You will be evaluated on the strength of your participation in the ICON discussions, your level of engagement with the other students in the U.S. group and New Zealand, and your participation in at least ONE of the face to face video conferences.


Students with Disabilities


Instructors will make reasonable accommodations for students with physical, mental or learning disabilities. Students with disabilities that may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements should visit their instructor during his or her office hours so that appropriate arrangements may be made. It is the student's responsibility to contact Student Disability Services, 3100 Burge Hall (335-1462), and obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request form (SAAR). This form specifies what course accommodations are judged reasonable for a given student. An instructor who cannot provide the accommodations specified, or has concerns about the accommodations, must contact the Student Disability Services counselor who signed the request form within 48 hours of receiving the form from the student.


Academic Fraud


You are expected to be honest and honorable in your fulfillment of assignments and in test-taking situations. Academic fraud is a serious form of misconduct. A full explanation is given in the Student Academic Handbook:


An instructor who suspects a student of academic fraud must inform the student (in writing) as soon as possible after the incident has been observed or discovered. Instructors who detect cheating or plagiarism may decide, in consultation with the departmental executive officer, to reduce the student's grade on the assignment or the course, even to assign an F. In either case, the instructor will write an account of the chronology of the plagiarism or cheating incident for the departmental chair, who will send an endorsement of the written report of the case to University. A copy of the report will be sent to the student, who has the right to request a hearing within the Department and/or within the College.


Cancelled: Flu-Like Symptoms Absence Policy


Based on recommendations from the CDC and the Johnson County Public Health Department, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education has announced that The University of Iowa will return to standard policies for students who miss class due to flu-like symptoms. 


The College will return immediately to its standard absence policy:

“University policy requires that students be permitted to make up examinations missed because of illness, mandatory religious obligations, certain University activities, or unavoidable circumstances. All instructors must comply with this policy. The attendance policy should provide options for making up work missed due to an excused absence. Instructors may request that students provide documentation for any absence before the student is allowed to make up missed work.”

NOTE: I do reserve the right to request documentation from you if you miss a substantial number of assignments due to illness.

Upcoming Events

    Please check back for future events

Happening Now

Find Us Online